Part 1 – A Closer Look at Metal Roofing

The Metal Roofing Industry

News of rising energy costs and bad weather have sadly become the norm in the U.S., and it comes as no surprise that more and more property owners are looking favorably on metal roofs. Over the past few years, the benefits of installing metal roofs have been thrown into better light, so much so that the Metal Roofing Alliance expects the industry to continue growing at a rate of 15% per year for the next 10 to 20 years.

Whether you’re a residential or commercial property owner, you’ll find that there are certainly a lot of perks to having a metal roof. But is it true that a metal roof is a gift that will keep on giving, or is all that just really good marketing?

To answer that, we’ll take a closer look at the current state of the industry, the metal roof manufacturing process, and how metal roofers customize the material to meet your specific roofing requirements.

A 2012 survey by the Metal Roofing Alliance showed that between 2003 and 2009, a time when market shares for every other roofing material was down by at least 21 percent, metal went up nearly 15 percent. That’s saying something. For every 1 percent increase, the metal roofing industry sees 1.5 million squares in added sales plus 100,000 tons of steel and 200,000 gallons of paint. That’s not even counting other roofing components like fasteners, flashings, and underlayment!

Roofing Contractor Magazine echoed the Alliance’s optimism in their 2013 State of the Industry Report. Residential metal roofing is on its own a $13 billion industry, and the growing role of metal in flat-to-pitched retrofits is only bound to boost the industry’s commercial roofing shares.

There are currently two types of metal roofing systems available on the market today: hydrostatic (watertight, low-slope) and hydrokinetic (water-shedding, steep-slope). Metal roofs come in different formats, such as sheet metal shingles or tiles, sheet metal panels, and standing-seam systems. They are also made from a wide variety of materials, with galvanized steel, aluminum, and copper being the most common.

The wealth of options available (not to mention the impressive industry statistics) already hints at the fact that metal can perform as advertised. But in Part Two of this series, we’ll take things further and find out just how metal roofs are made.